Today, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a voluntary recall of ITT Water Technology, Inc. Sump Pumps and Effluent Pumps. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.
The reason for the recall is that sump pumps installed without ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection can pose an electric shock or electrocution hazard if touched by the consumer. For additional information on GFCIs, see http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/099.pdf
Unfortunately the human body is a good conductor of electricity. Direct contact with electrical current can be fatal. While some electrical burns look minor, there still may be serious internal damage, especially to the heart, muscles, or brain.
About 1,000 people die of electric shock each year in the United States. In fact we represented a pilot when he received a serious electrical shock from a faulty light fixture in a hotel shower.
The affect of an electric shock on an individual depends on the intensity of the voltage to which the person was exposed, the route the current took through the body, the person’s state of health, and the speed and adequacy of treatment.
Electric current can cause injury in three main ways:
- Cardiac arrest due to the electrical effect on the heart
- Muscle, nerve, and tissue destruction from a current passing through the body
- Thermal burns from contact with the electrical source
When a careless or inattentive electrician or contractor creates a dangerous electrical condition, the individuals and organizations responsible for mistakes or oversights that lead to injury or death must step up and do right by the families of victim–or the court system will impose liability.